First impressions matter. Today, the first impression that car shoppers have about a dealership is likely going to come from pictures. Not pictures of the dealership, but the images that the dealership provides of its inventory, whether on the dealer’s own website or via a third-party listing. These digital spaces have a nationwide reach and give dealers access to the single largest market that has ever developed, making the stakes of first impressions higher than ever before.
Car photos deployed in the digital marketplace give dealerships the means to connect to car shoppers any time, anywhere, through the devices they use every day. But realizing the potential of these images demands that they are the right kind and quality. While many car images do little to engage car shoppers, compelling pictures make the most of the opportunities offered by online environments. With this in mind, the best car photos for dealers are those that keep them on the leading edge of online marketing and sales, with high-quality coverage of every vehicle that can find its way into dealer inventories.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT CAR SHOPPERS WANT
The imaging needs of car shoppers are typically straightforward: they want to see photos that accurately represent a vehicle and allow them to evaluate the features that matter to them. This means that they need a wide variety of high-quality still images showing a vehicle’s exterior in true-to-life colors as well as interior shots that highlight things like seat design, driver controls, and cargo space. These comprehensive overviews enhance the ability to imagine both what a car will look like in their driveway and what it will be like to drive. Indeed, the photos that make car shoppers want to buy a car are often those that reveal small details: the curve of a fender, the line of the roof, or a distinctive grill. At other times, the placement of the window wiper lever or the location of the volume knob might not seem like much, but for someone who cares about small design choices, they can make the difference between scheduling a test drive or moving on to the next dealership.
However, images can do more than inform—they can also inspire. At a time when the showroom experience is increasingly being replaced by online car research, well-composed photos that highlight a vehicle at its best and hero shots that place it in a dynamic setting are often critical to engaging car shoppers. These images can make a vehicle go from one of hundreds of choices to being the one as shoppers engage on a visceral level. And today, there are even more powerful technologies available to create such experiences; with easy integration of video in digital spaces and the advent of XR technologies, car shoppers can connect and interact with vehicles in new and novel ways. Indeed, many believe that virtual reality is the future of car shopping, and dealerships with high-quality VR assets are ahead of the curve.
THE IMAGING NEEDS OF CAR DEALERS
On the most basic level, the best car photos for dealers remain those that can be used to create effective car listings. But to truly stand out, car dealerships need image assets that make it possible to meet the multiple and evolving needs of car shoppers. And the needs of the dealership itself are still more diverse. In addition to presenting inventory via online listings and virtual showrooms, dealers must strategically use car photos and other imaging assets in marketing efforts. Whether this means splash images as part of a dealership’s website design, digital advertising campaigns built around editorial car videos, drive-in videos integrated into banner ads, or social media posts featuring striking fly-arounds, a multi-pronged approach to digital marketing is essential in today’s automotive marketplace.
But while dealerships may recognize the importance of car photos, they are mainly concerned with selling cars. Creating photos and other digital assets that support that goal are not typically their areas of expertise. This creates a significant skill gap when it comes to capturing the best car photos for a dealer’s online presence. Customers can be forgiving when it comes to image quality if they’re looking for used cars; some imperfections are expected. When it comes to new cars, however, car shoppers expect more. In order to get the best car photos for dealers, it’s time to turn to the professionals.
FINDING THE BEST CAR PHOTOS FOR DEALERS
Companies that specialize in automotive stock images can provide all of the assets car dealers require for online listings as well as a full range of digital marketing strategies. These companies have the technology and ability to capture the best car photos, videos, and XR assets for dealers and provide coverage of virtually every vehicle in a market. As experts in the automotive industry, they understand the unique needs of car dealerships and offer products and services designed to optimize dealer success. They can also bring assets to market with unmatched speed.
Automotive stock image libraries help dealers make the most of a truly global market. Their depth and breadth of coverage mean that dealers are never without the images they need and customers can easily see how a spec sheet translates into reality. It is a complete solution for building dealer websites, populating sales listings, and creating engaging online experiences that give potential customers the best impression possible.